Foundation is an American science fiction streaming television series that has been making waves on Apple TV+.
The series, created by David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman, is a loose adaptation of the Foundation series of stories by Isaac Asimov.
With its premiere on September 24, 2021, the show has already been renewed for a second season, set to premiere on July 14, 2023, and a third season has begun filming.
But what is it all about, and is it worth watching?
What Is Foundation About?
In the first season of Foundation, we are introduced to a universe where the Galactic Empire has been the dominant force for twelve millennia.
The story revolves around Hari Seldon (Jared Harris), a mathematician who develops psychohistory, an algorithmic science that allows him to predict the future in terms of probabilities.
Hari Seldon predicts the fall of the Galactic Empire and a subsequent dark age lasting 30,000 years. To mitigate this, he proposes the creation of the Foundation, a group of engineers, artisans, and encyclopedists, to compile all human knowledge into a compendium known as the Encyclopedia Galactica.
He recruits Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell), a self-taught mathematician from a planet where the pursuit of knowledge is considered heresy. She becomes Hari Seldon's protégée and is crucial in establishing the Foundation.
The problem is that the Galactic Empire is ruled by a series of genetic clones of Cleon I, known as Brother Day, Brother Dusk, and Brother Dawn.
They reluctantly agree to the foundation as they struggle to maintain control over the empire and their interactions with Seldon.
So what we get is a story told from the perspective of four different key characters. Brother Dusk (Lee Pace) is the ruling Empire and will do anything to hold on to power.
Hari Seldon has predicted the future, and everything that happens results from his visions. Gaal Dornick finds herself thrust into space for sucha long period of time that when she wakes up the world has completely changed.
And 35 years into the future, Salvor Hardin (Leah Harvey) is the warden of Terminus, where Seldon's followers have set up a colony and the Foundation.
All four of their lives are about the collide and season one of Foundation lays the groundwork for that battle.
Foundation Official Trailer
Is Foundation Worth Watching?
Foundation is an epic sci-fi series that truly warrants being called an event.
Created in Ireland, the show's world-building is impressive, with grandeur that's both practical and created with IMAX-worthy special effects.
The series creates a strong rhythm of being able to juggle many different storylines, holding viewers' attention throughout. The performances offer a wide range, with Lee Pace's dynamic performances as cloned Brother Day being particularly magnetic.
But as we all know, no show is perfect, and Foundation has a couple of its own issues. First off, I have never read the books, so found myself thrown in at the deep end when I started watching.
There's no explanation, no back story of any kind, so for the first few early episodes, I genuinely had no idea what was going on.
The story jumps back and forth through different timelines. Sometimes 400 years earlier, sometime just 35 years later, and it's tricky to decipher exactly where you are in terms of the timeline.
However, it soon becomes clear that the entire first season is designed to lay the groundwork for the bigger overall Foundation chronicles.
I will say that the threads left dangling through the first six episodes start getting tied up, and the penny drops as to how the whole plot comes together. This is just as well as rumours say that it will take at least eight seasons to tell the whole story!
Overall, Foundation is an interesting story. It is a visually stunning and intellectually stimulating series worth watching for any science fiction fan. Its complex characters, intricate plot, and grand world-building make it a standout in the genre.
Is Foundation Based On The Asimov Foundation Series?
Yes, the TV series is based on Isaac Asimov's Foundation series.
It broadly follows the timeline of the trilogy, specifically the first third of the first book. However, it also incorporates elements from Asimov's Robot and Empire series, which were later integrated into the Foundation universe.
The series has also added new elements and fleshed out parts of the story that were not detailed in the books.
It also pulls in material from Asimov's own rehoming of his universe in later books. It is not just following the trilogy, but the trilogy after it was retconned by Asimov.
Which Other Streaming Services Is Foundation On?
Foundation is an Apple TV+ Original show, which means that it will stream exclusively on Apple TV+.
It won't be available to stream legally on any other platform.
Is Foundation On DVD?
As of now, there is no official information about a DVD release for the Foundation series.
Is There A Second Season Of Foundation?
Yes, Foundation has been renewed for a second season, which is set to premiere on July 14th 2023.
The third season is currently being filmed.
Cast and Characters Of Foundation TV Series
The series features an ensemble cast led by Jared Harris as Hari Seldon.
Lee Pace stars as Brother Day. The middle-aged member of a series of genetic clones of Cleon I. He reigns as Emperor of the 12,000-year-old Galactic Empire.
Lou Llobell plays Gaal Dornick. She is Hari's protégée, a self-taught young woman from a planet where the pursuit of knowledge is considered heresy.
Leah Harvey portrays Salvor Hardin. She is the Warden of Terminus 35 years after Seldon's trial, and Gaal Dornick's daughter.
Laura Birn plays Eto Demerzel. A serving robot to the Emperors and one of the last surviving androids from the ancient Robot Wars.
Terrence Mann plays Brother Dusk, the eldest member of a series of genetic clones of Cleon I who retired from his duties as Emperor.
Cassian Bilton portrays Brother Dawn, the youngest member of a series of genetic clones of Cleon I and the successor-in-training of Brother Day.
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